VLA offers a variety of programs and workshops, which are listed below. We also offer a selection of on-demand, online recordings of previously held education programs for those unable to attend or want a refresher. Click here to access and view these presentations.

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Make the Right Moves: Legal Issues for Dancers and Choreographers

October 3, 2018 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

It’s not just a dance, and you’re more than just a performer or creator. As an artist-entrepreneur, it’s essential that you know the relevant business the legal issues to protect your rights and understand your obligations as an employee, employer, and owner of intellectual property. In this class, entertainment attorney Merlyne Jean-Louis and choreographer and author Adam Cates will discuss important issues of interest for dancers and choreographers.

Topics include:

  • Entity formation
  • Contracts
  • Employment issues
  • Copyright issues (ex. registration and infringement)
  • Trademark (stage name, logos, slogans, etc.)
  • Social Media issues (advertising regulations)

1 Continuing Legal Education credit available for attorneys 
(Approved for Non-Transitional and Transitional Attorneys)

Wednesday, October 3, 2018
5:30 – 7 PM

VLA Auditorium
1 East 53rd Street, NY, NY 10022


About the instructors

Merlyne Jean-Louis

Merlyne Jean-Louis, Esq. is the founder of Jean-Louis Law, P.C., a New York-based law firm that focuses on business and entertainment law. A former dancer, she has provided counsel to content creators (including social media influencers), creative entrepreneurs, small business owners, and tech startups, on various legal issues. Merlyne also writes a legal blog where she discusses issues facing entrepreneurs.





Adam Cates

Adam Cates is a choreographer, director, writer and educator working in New York, as well as across the US and internationally. A member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers (SDC) and American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA), Cates has worked in a variety of mediums including Tony-winning Broadway and national touring musicals, regional theatre, television, cruise ships, theme parks, corporate industrials, casino revues, festivals, and university and college productions. He choreographed and co-wrote The World According to Snoopy, a family musical revue starring the Peanuts characters, soon available to be licensed through Tams-Whitmark. Other credits include associate choreographing the Broadway musicals Anastasia and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, choreographing main stage operas for The Juilliard School, associate choreographing episodes of 90210 and Live from Lincoln Center, and directing and/or choreographing regionally Cates wrote the popular guidebook for young professionals The Business of Show, and also teaches on the adjunct faculties of Pace University (commercial dance), Broadway Dance Center, and Steps. He has taught master classes and university residencies across the US, Canada, Spain, and Bermuda. He holds a BA in Theatre from the University of Utah and is currently pursuing his MFA in interdisciplinary arts and performance creation from Goddard College.

Membership Discount Code:

*For members, please contact 212.319.2787 ext. 10 or registrations@vlany.org to receive your discount code, which will allow you to access and purchase your ticket.


$20 Full-Time Student (student must present proof of full-time status with registration)
$20 Artists Over Sixty
$30 Performing Arts Union Members (must present proof of membership with registration)
$30 Arts Professional VLA Member
$50 Arts Professional Non-Member
$100 Legal Professional VLA Member
$150 Legal Professional Non-Member
$75 Young Associate Members (YAM’s) and Associate Board Members

All registration fees are non-refundable. Instructors are subject to change and no refunds will be given in the event that there is a substitution of the instructor.

Please note you are not registered until full payment is received. For artists and attorneys, there are various scholarships available. To view our Financial Aid Policy Guidelines and for more information on how to apply, click here.

For more information on this program, please contact VLA at registrations@vlany.org or 212.319.2787 x 10.


October 3, 2018
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm


Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
(212) 319 - 2787
View Organizer Website


Event type
CLE Class
Event Cate
CLE Class


VLA Auditorium
1 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022 United States
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(212) 319 - 2787
View Venue Website